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VA benefits and services for Veterans exposed to airborne hazards

Military Exposures & Your Health: Information for Veterans who servedthe gulf war era and their families

Veterans who were exposed to airborne hazards or open burn pits during deployment may be eligible to participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR). Veterans can also submit a claim for disability compensation if they believe that there is a connection between an exposure and their health and obtain VA health care. 

Burn Pit Registry

In June 2014, VA launched the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry for Veterans and service members. This registry helps VA to understand the health effects of exposure to airborne hazards. The data collected from this registry will be used to improve programs and services at VA for Veterans with deployment-related exposure concerns.

To be eligible for the registry, you must be a Veteran or service member who deployed to contingency operations in the Southwest Asia theater of operations at any time on or after August 2, 1990, or Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after September 11, 2001.

You may participate in the registry by completing a web-based health questionnaire. To access the questionnaire, you will need your DoD Self-Service Level 2 logon (DS-Logon). You may apply for a DS-Logon account if you do not already have one. The DS-Logon is a secure, self-service identification that allows active-duty service members and Veterans to access several websites using a single username and password.

Participants are also eligible to obtain an optional, no-cost, in-person, medical evaluation. Contact your local Environmental Health Coordinator to make an appointment for the evaluation.

Compensation benefits

VA encourages all Veterans who feel their military service has affected their health to submit a claim for disability compensation, which will be adjudicated using the latest scientific and medical evidence available. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis. You can file a claim online.

All Veterans who disagree with their VA claim decisions are entitled to seek review of that decision.

VA Healthcare eligibility

Most Veterans are eligible for VA health care regardless of where they served, and a VA disability rating is often times not required. 

Two Separate Processes – Participating in the Registry and Filing a Claim

The AHOBPR and the compensation process at not linked at all. You do not need to join the AHOBPR to submit a claim, and participation in the registry will not affect your claim. VA does not check information from the AHOBPR in the claims process; however, a Veteran can use the information obtained within the AHOBPR online survey or clinical exam for their claim.

There are some Veterans who have been exposed to air pollution and other environmental hazards who did not deploy to a country that would make them eligible to join the AHOBPR. These Veterans are encouraged to file a claim for disability compensation if they are experiencing health issues that they feel are related.  

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